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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Scholars working on the connection of literature, narrative, and trauma have made important connections between an individual’s ability to maintain a coherent sense of self (a personal narrative) and their own psychological and social well-being. Some literary expressions from traumatic circumstances, therefore, can be read as individual attempts to repair personal narratives. The biblical book of Lamentations may well be such an exercise in narrative repair. Using these ideas to introduce ways of reading the biblical book of Lamentations, the chapter makes the connection with African American blues traditions as another form of narrative repair very much in the spirit of the biblical material. In fact, the comparison with the blues may well lead to new reading strategies for Lamentations as well.

Keywords: lamentations, the blues, narrative repair, trauma, truth and reconciliation commission

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